Writing in a journal can help you in many different situations. Maybe you are going through a tough time in your life or are trying to lose weight. Some people journal about the recipes they come up with, while others do it so their family will know more about them some day. It doesn’t matter why you start, but as your writing evolves, you can start to use this habit to help you in your daily life as well. I started journaling when I was very young because I wanted to put down on paper what I couldn’t say in life, but now that I have grown, I have used this daily ritual to help me with my finances. The following tips helped me out of a tough financial situation, and I hope that they can help you do the same.
1. Keep Track of Your Spending
Start your journey by keeping track of your spending for a month or two. Write down exactly how much you spend and exactly what you buy. Like the other important things you write down to remember, actually seeing where your money goes will help you realize which purchases are important and which ones could have been unnecessary. From there, you can decide which expenses to cut, where to save, and start making a plan to improve your financial decisions.
2. Create a Budget
The first thing you should do when creating a budget is decide on how much you want to save from your income each month. When you save first and budget the rest of the money left over, it will be a lot easier for you to save money for an emergency fund, a retirement fund, or even for something you’ve wanted to buy for a while.
When you have put your savings away, you can start listing all of your fixed monthly expenses. This would include your rent or mortgage payment, your cell phone bill, or any other expenses that are the same each month. Next, take a guess at how much you will have to use monthly for variable expenses, including utilities, water, and groceries. This does not, however, include those unnecessary expenses I discussed earlier. If you want to save more money, you will have to budget very tightly on some of these variable expenses and find ways to save, like using coupons or saving energy.
3. Use Your Journal
A budget doesn’t work unless you are disciplined enough to stick to it. Continue to write down what and where you spend money so that you take responsibility for your actions. You will be much more determined to save when you know you will have to look at your spending habits later.
Also, write down when all of your payments are due so that you never forget to make one. Paying all of your bills on time is very important to your financial future. It will help you maintain a good credit score or fix a poor credit score, and you will feel much happier when you can finally say you are debt free.
Elise Brown is an author who writes guest posts on the topics of business, marketing, credit cards, and personal finance.
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